EKOS has released a new poll today, taken between September 30 and October 6, and involving 3,333 Canadians. And boy, is it a rough one.
Conservatives - 39.7%
Liberals - 25.7%
New Democrats - 15.2%
Bloc Quebecois - 9.7%
Greens - 9.7%
EKOS is a consistent, quality pollster. And for them to give the Conservatives a 14-point lead is incredible. The Liberals are actually doing worse than their disastrous 2008 election result. The Tories have one of their best results, and undoubtedly their best result from a completely reliable pollster.
It doesn't get any better for the Liberals at the regional level.
The Tories are back over 40% in British Columbia with 41.6%, while the NDP is at 23.5%, the Liberals at 22.2%, and the Greens at 12.7%.
The Liberal vote in Alberta is slipping away, with the Conservatives at 61%, the Liberals at 13.5%, and the NDP at 13%.
The Prairies is another good region for the Tories, with 51.6%. The Liberals are at 22.7% and the NDP at 18.4%.
Ontario is a fiasco for the Liberals. The Conservatives are now 11.3-points ahead. The Conservatives are at 43.8%, the Liberals at 32.5%, and the NDP at 13.9%.
The Bloc leads in Quebec with 38.7%, a good result for them. The Conservatives are back in the game at 22.2%, followed by the Liberals at a catastrophic 21%. The NDP is at 9.7%.
Not even Atlantic Canada can give the Liberals some good news. The Conservatives lead with 34.8%, the Liberals follow with 32.4%, and the NDP is in third with 26.2%.
There is no silver lining in this poll for the Liberals. The Conservatives lead in every demographic except those under the age of 25, and they lead in every major city except in Montreal, where the Bloc has opened up a double-digit lead over the Liberals.
This poll would result in the following seat totals:
Conservatives - 156
Liberals - 77
Bloc Quebecois - 51
New Democrats - 24
So the Conservatives have finally gotten themselves into a majority. But it's a slim one.
Why is it slim? They're still doing worse in BC than they did last year, and their Quebec and Atlantic Canada results are still below their 2006 result.
The Liberals manage to maintain their current caucus size, mostly because this poll was no good for the NDP either.
As for the election issue, 41% say it is economic, 33% say social, and 17% say fiscal. It is something else for 9% of Canadians.
Stephen Harper has a 39%-42% approval/disapproval rating. This gets a bit worse in British Columbia (36-44), a bit better in Ontario (42-40), and much worse in Quebec (27-51).
Michael Ignatieff's 19%-51% approval/disapproval rating couldn't be worse, and it is below Harper's in BC (16-53), ON (21-50), and (surprisingly) QC (21-45).
Jack Layton's numbers are good, 34%-31% and it is pretty constant in BC (34-34), Ontario (34-32), but much better in Quebec (38-24).
Harper has the best approval rating within his own party, with 80% of Conservatives approving of the job he's doing and only 9% disapproving. Layton is next, with 65% of his supporters approving and only 13% disapproving. Ignatieff is last, with 47% approving and 24% disapproving.
This is just a horrible poll for the Liberals. It is also a bad poll for the NDP. It is a good poll for the Bloc, and an excellent poll for the Tories.
The NDP did the Liberals, and themselves, a favour when they supported the government.
The projection will be updated some time today.